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Article posted: 3/8/2012 4:19 PM

Carol Stream considers rec. center library branch

By Christopher Placek

Carol Stream residents may soon be able to pick up a book or use the computer while waiting for those taking a gymnastics or dance class at the Simkus Recreation Center.

The Carol Stream Public Library and Carol Stream Park District are discussing the possibility of opening a satellite library in what is currently the fitness room in Simkus at County Farm and Lies roads.

The building is expected to undergo renovations in the fall of 2013 when the park district's new 90,846-square-foot rec center is scheduled to open at the Town Center near Gary Avenue and Lies.

The library's use of the Simkus fitness room has been discussed as a possibility in exchange for the park district's use of the library's Kuhn Road property for recreation purposes. So far, the two sides have had informal talks, but now the library has posted a short survey on its website asking residents for their input.

Officials said there would be no cost to build and furnish the satellite campus, but there could be additional costs for the library to run it.

Library Director Ann Kennedy said the library board is expected to evaluate results of the survey at its March 28 meeting, but may delay a final decision until April or May.

Meanwhile, work is expected to take place this spring at the library's 7.5-acre property at 480 N. Kuhn Road. In December, the board approved demolition of a house, garage and barn on the property once owned by longtime Carol Stream residents Richard and Betty Lou Kammes, who are now deceased.

Kennedy has said park district officials told her they wouldn't consider any intergovernmental partnership if the house remained on site.

The first step, though, is removing asbestos from the house, Kennedy said.

Contracts for abatement and demolition are being evaluated by the library's attorney, so it's unclear exactly when the site will be cleared and ready for use, she said.

In a July 2011 letter to the library board, park board President Brenda Gramann noted that allowing the park district to use the property would keep it tax-exempt.

The library purchased the land in hopes of building a new facility there, but voters rejected those plans in referendum questions in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

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